New York Rangers name John Davidson as new team president

In this Aug. 1, 2013, photo, Columbus Blue Jackets' John Davidson talks about his role with the team at his Nationwide Arena office in Columbus, Ohio. The patience has paid off: Picked by most analysts to finish near the bottom again, the Blue Jackets shattered franchise records for wins and points, and will be in the Stanley Cup playoffs that begin next week. (Eric Albrecht/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

The New York Rangers have named veteran NHL executive John Davidson as their new president. They announced the hiring on Friday, just hours after the former Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations resigned from his post in Columbus.

“Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter in New York Rangers history,” James L. Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company said in the Rangers’ press release. “John Davidson is one of the premier executives in the National Hockey League. As we continue to build a team that can consistently compete for the Stanley Cup, John’s knowledge of the game and his experience and passion for the Rangers logo make him the ideal choice to oversee our Hockey Operations department. I am thrilled to welcome ‘JD’ and his family home.”

Davidson had been in Columbus since 2012, ushering the rebuilding team into a new era of being playoff contenders. It was widely assumed he would be headed to New York Friday, as the Blue Jackets issued a statement to announce the Rangers had been granted permission to speak with him for the position.

“I am excited and humbled to be named the President of the New York Rangers,” Davidson said in the press release. “The opportunity of rejoining the Rangers organization and returning home to New York, where my family and I have spent so many wonderful years, was one I simply could not pass up.

“I want to thank James Dolan for offering me this chance to come home. I would also like to thank John P. McConnell for the opportunity to join the Blue Jackets organization in 2012, his guidance, support, and friendship over the last seven years, and for allowing my family and me to embark on this new journey with the Rangers. Additionally, I would like to thank the St. Louis Blues organization for giving me an opportunity to join their front office in 2006 and spend six fantastic years there.”

The move is somewhat of a homecoming for Davidson, who spent eight seasons with the Rangers as an NHL goaltender in the 1970s and 80s. He also served as a television analyst there. Now, he has a chance to help rebuild the historic franchise back into a contender.

The Rangers’ presidency became available in April, when longtime executive Glen Sather stepped down from the position, which he’d held since 2000. Sather will remain with the team as a senior advisor and alternate governor.

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